Language-learning difficulties and their influence on the Turkish-speaking migrant’s integration process in Belgium

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Language learning is a challenge for those who have recently immigrated to a foreign country (henceforth newcomers), especially for adult newcomers. Here, we have adopted a holistic approach and asked Turkish migrants to share their perspectives regarding the integration process. For this, we interviewed 59 Turkish-speaking newcomers from a (mixed) social integration course, whom we had subdivided into six focus groups. We also conducted in-depth interviews with 14 experienced migrants who then shared their experiences, expectations, problems and ambitions. The focus group interviews show us that offering opportunities to learn a foreign language along with dialogues with local people, in an informal setting, gives newcomers a feeling of independence (empowerment) and helps reduce their cultural angst. In this regard, intercultural communication with locals plays a key role in newcomers’ cultural and social integration. With this, the individual perspectives and expectations analysed in this study have provided novel insights for shaping the formal and informal integration process.
Originele taal-2English
Pagina's (van-tot)385–402
Aantal pagina's18
Nummer van het tijdschrift3
StatusPublished - 24 mei 2023

Bibliografische nota

Funding Information:
We want to thank our participants who opened up to us and shared their thoughts and feelings.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Transnational Press London Ltd. All rights reserved.

Copyright 2023 Elsevier B.V., All rights reserved.


  • integration
  • adult education
  • learning language
  • newcomers
  • intercultural communication


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